Cyclists Stay Back stickers to go!

After six months of persistant criticism Transport for London has agreed to help remove the "Cyclist Stay Back" stickers from cars, vans and buses.

This is a considerable victory for London Cycling Campaign and our cycling and transport campaigning allies.

TfL will:

  1. Ask the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) members to remove stickers from small vehicles
  2. Replace stickers on buses with a new agreed message
  3. Write to other fleet owners requesting they remove stickers
  4. Agree new wording for stickers on large lorries
  5. Issue guidance with the new stickers on their use
  6. Create a TfL web page with advice about the stickers

London Cycling Campaign with CTC, RoadPeace, London Boroughs Cycling Officers Group, Road Danger Reduction Forum and the Association of Bikeability Schemes met with senior managers at Transport for London to agree on how to stop the proliferation of the offensive Cyclists Stay Back stickers.

LCC supports the need for a warning to cyclists about the danger caused when large lorries with inadequate driver vision turn left and collide with cyclists and pedestrians.  The "Stay Back" message however is seen as a prohibition and has been interpreted by drivers as telling cyclists to get out of their way, with the implication that if a collision occurs then it's the cyclist's fault for not having done so.

The real solution for reducing the danger created by "off road" construction vehicle on London streets is to re-design the driver's cab as in the LCC Safer Urban Lorry concept.

This prohibition sign is particularly inappropriate on the vehicles whose drivers do not have the same difficulty as lorry drivers, such as buses vans and even cars. Drivers of these vehicles have direct vision of the road in front and to the side. By using their mirrors and taking care as directed by the Highway Code they should be able to avoid putting other road users in danger.

The next challenge is to encourage all those transport companies who have put "Stay Back" signs on the wrong vehicles to take them off. Both the Freight Transport Association and The Road Haulage Association have expressed frustration at the confusion caused by mixed messages and hostile reactions.

Working with Transport for London we will agree a new wording to give a clear warning on large lorries, they will not be distributing any more "Stay Back" stickers. We still recommend the use of the previous warning agreed between TfL and LCC. This is currently available from the RHA online shop.

 Other stickers are available

We also like the offer of a "Cyclists  Stay Awesome" sticker available to buy online via the Road.CC website.


As Tweeted, any rewording of warning should clearly specify exact problem?  So, for example, message could read something like ”this vehicle has blind spots”, or ”vehicle has poor visibility”?

This then would give cyclists and other vulnerable road users precise information with which to inform their decision making, It also makes clear where the problem/responsibility lies (with the particular vehicle) - hence where the solution/improvement needs to originate.

Absolutely, 100% agree with Wild Bike Boy.  Even the recommended sign could lead you to believe that a vehicle is only dangerous from the inside and gives no indication of other hazardous aspects.  It's not beyond the realms of possibility to perhaps use signs only visible from a certain direction or position relative to the vehicle, e.g. "If you can see this, then I can't see you.".

  • By bigpete at 5:13pm 26 June 2014

Well done to all involved!

This should of course never have occurred in the first place and its depressing how much energy is spent simply reversing stupid decisions, i.e. getting back to where you were before, rather than achieving genuine progress.

The real solution is to design our transport network so that cyclists rarely, if ever, come into conflict with lorries in the first place. 

  • By Tel at 8:59am 28 June 2014

Personally, I found these stickers a useful reminder and from the numbers of other cyclists I see whizzing up the inside of buses and lorries, I'd say some kind of warning is required - If we've convinced the powers that be to remove this one, how about we ask them to replace it with the National Express version which says something like "Caution, blind spots. Please take care"?

"I'm not saying let's kill all of the stupid people. I'm just saying let's remove all of the labels and let the problem sort itself out!"

I agree with Tel.  I think the stickers were a good thing and if nothing else they sort of justified you hanging back when you feel it's unsafe to overtake and are worried that vehicles behind might not like you "taking the lane" and just hanging around there.. 

I think a warning can be useful to help cyclists to decide whether or not to cycle near, inside or around but a general stay away message strengthens the incorrect position that exists that cyclist are the ones who are "in the way" of motorists. I think it's a great campaign

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